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Pub Review: The Black Bull Hotel, Reeth

Updated: Apr 27

The sign at Reeth’s Black Bull Hotel may be the wrong way round, but this traditional Yorkshire Dales inn does everything just right.

The Black Bull, Reeth

Open fire at The Black Bull, Reeth

What to expect at The Black Bull

In the beautiful village of Reeth, located on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of Swaledale, patrons have been resting their heads in The Black Bull, Reeth’s oldest surviving inn, since 1680. Current landlords David and Helen Whyte have done a brilliant job of lovingly restoring the premises whilst retaining its period features and charming character. This, plus the ever-welcoming atmosphere, has made it a real hit with locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re after a place to stay, a tasty meal or a relaxing pint, you won’t be disappointed.

The bar at The Black Bull, Reeth

The Black Bull has all the qualities you’d want in a good pub. In front of a central bar there’s a cosy area which, in winter, promises a toasty open fire and, to the rear, extra seating and a pool table. The dining room, ‘The Vic’, has had a recent refurbishment and looks very elegant with its black chairs and crisp white tablecloths against a backdrop of exposed brickwork. For summer days, you can sit outdoors on picnic tables overlooking the village green. If you’d like to stay, double, twin and family rooms are available.


A curious thing that you’ll notice about the inn, which stands around Reeth’s cobbled market area, is that the sign above the bar’s entrance hangs upside-down. This harks back to a former licensee’s dispute with the National Park Planning Authority, who objected to the landlord removing the building’s whitewash exterior, in favour of its original stone. Attempts to oppose the Authority were unsuccessful and, after being forced to concede and reinstate the whitewash, the sign was upturned as a visual reminder of the quarrel and an opportunity to recount the tale to a myriad of quizzical visitors.

Pints of beer at The Black Bull, Reeth

What’s to drink at The Black Bull?

The Black Bull offers cask-conditioned Best Bitters from Masham breweries Theakston and Black Sheep, plus at least one rotating ale. Theakston Old Peculiar and Wainwright Gold (Marston’s Brewery, Burton-on-Trent) were also on cask. Premium lagers, spirits, wine, soft drinks and hot drinks are available, too.


What’s to eat at The Black Bull?

The team at The Black Bull pride themselves on their great-quality, homemade food, which is just getting better and better. You can expect hearty pub meals prepared with the best-quality ingredients, seasonal changes and a daily specials board. The breakfast menu has all the classics: full English, full veggie, eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine and avocado on toast. Lunch, served from 12pm-2pm, has light bites, hot and cold sandwiches and some heartier options for bigger appetites. The dinner menu, available from 6pm, includes traditional suet and ale pudding, Whitby scampi, steaks, skewers and sharing plates. On Sundays there’s a very popular carvery, for which booking is strongly recommended. There’s a good choice of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, plus a ‘little calves’ children’s menu. You can view the menus on The Black Bull's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Open fire at The Black Bull, Reeth

What’s on at The Black Bull?

Along with weekly bingo and Wheel of Fortune games on Friday nights and broadcasting all of the main sports events, The Black Bull hosts a variety of events, including live music and social Luncheon Clubs in association with the Reeth and District Community Group. Keep an eye out for one-off menus, such as those for special occasions throughout the year or, as was trialled recently, a ‘Taste of India’ curry night. Check out The Black Bull’s Facebook and Instagram pages to find out what’s coming up next.


Where can I find The Black Bull?

The Black Bull Hotel is in Reeth, one of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, benefitting from the striking natural surroundings of upper Swaledale. The central green and cobbled market square, skirted by an array of quaint shops and amenities, are encircled by spectacular sights of rolling green dales and mesmerising moorland. Lovely walks can be had along the River Swale, not far from the village centre. Reeth is to the west of Richmond, around 20 minutes by car. It’s around an hour’s drive from Middlesbrough and 50 minutes from Ripon. The Black Bull is on High Row, just by the village green, where there is ample space for parking, paid for by honesty boxes. Reeth is also accessible from Richmond by bus.


The Black Bull, Reeth

The Black Bull Hotel, Reeth: Summary

-          Traditional country inn

-          Homemade, high-quality food

-          Great beers and ales

-          Dog-friendly

-          Open fire

-          Pool table

-          Outdoor seating

-          Parking nearby

-          Yorkshire Dales National Park

-          Picturesque location

-          Televised sport

-          Weekly bingo

-          Occasional live music

-          Rooms available


Where can I find out more information or make a reservation?

For current opening times, the latest menus, offers and updates, follow The Black Bull’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Call them on 01748 884213 to reserve a table and you can make a room booking via their website or by emailing



Have you visited The Black Bull Hotel in Reeth? Let us know what you thought! You can find more reviews of great North Yorkshire pubs on our blog, with a new review being published every Friday!

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Apr 27

It is NOT in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide

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